Memorial Day was initially called Declaration Day. In May 1868, U.S General John A. Logan first called for the observance of Decoration Day nationally:
The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.
"Memorial Day" gradually became more commonly used than "Decoration Day," and, in 1967, became the official name of the May 30th holiday.
Many local and regional observances in the U.S. preceeded the 1868 designation. In 1971, the last Monday in May became Memorial Day in the United States. The holiday commerates all those who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.